‘Disappointing’ Ofsted report for Wales High

Wales High School has been graded as requiring improvement in its first Ofsted inspection since becoming an academy.

The school, which became an academy in September 2011, has slipped two grades after being declared ‘outstanding’ in its last inspection in 2006.

Lead inspector Tanya Harber said the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and the leadership and management of the school all required improvement.

She said the challenge provided for some students was not high enough, meaning students made ‘adequate rather than good progress’.

She continued: “Progress made in mathematics is weaker than in other subjects. This is because of weaker teaching in mathematics.”

“The sixth form requires improvement. Students are not always guided to start the right courses. Some of them study courses they will not succeed at.”

However, the behaviour and safety of the pupils was deemed ‘good’. In some lessons she said there was a ‘tremendous atmosphere for learning’ enabling students to have ‘great discussions’.

She also praised the sixth form students, describing them as ‘excellent ambassadors’ for the school.

She continued: “Relationships between students, and between staff and students, are very strong. Students are courteous, well mannered and respectful.”

“The new headteacher has a very clear view of how successful the school can be. He has, in a short space of time, raised expectations and improved teaching.”

“Governors are aware of what needs to improve. They are holding the headteacher to account about changes being made.”

Headteacher Pepe Di’Iasio, who has been in the post since September, said the findings of the report had been largely expected.

He also said that like for like comparisons between reports are difficult to make, since the criteria against which schools are judged has changed significantly since the school’s last inspection.

“Our results in maths during the summer were not as good as we would have hoped for. Even before this report we had put an improvement plan in place,” he said.

“It is now my job, as headteacher, to address the main issues for improvement. It is imperative that more of our teaching is good or outstanding.”

“Pupils will be challenged and make even more progress. Examination results will improve this year, and under my leadership, year on year.”

He praised his students for their ‘exemplary behaviour’, which had been noted by inspectors and said he was confident that Wales was a ‘really good school’.

He added: “The community should be confident that we are going to do a great job at this school.”

“I will leave no stone unturned to make sure that we achieve the best possible outcomes for all at Wales.”